Feel the flow: Water Cooling
Since we have been discussing the cooling of your computer system quite a bit, I’ll tell you something more about a water cooling. As explained in my post about overclocking, a CPU will generate a tremendous (for a computer at least) amount of heat when you will overclock it.
In order to get rid of this heat, specialized cooling was created, one of them is a water cooling system.
I can just hear you thinking, isn’t this rather dangerous? Water and electricity don’t mix that well. Do they?
No that’s true, but the cooling system has, of course, a closed circuit were water can run through, this is really a safe method to get fluids in your system.
Generally a computer water cooling system, for CPUs at least, uses a CPU water block, a water pump and a heat exchanger. The most obvious advantage of water cooling is that you can overclock your CPU (and by the way, you can also overclock other components, but let’s just stick to CPUs for now) but not only that. A water cooling is a lot quieter, it can even potentially run without fans. Oh and speaking of other components, yes, you actually CAN cool a power supply with a water cooler. Living on the edge man! ;-)
Water cooling isn’t new, it has been around since 1982, it was used in the development of Cray-2 (this was a super computer in those days). However in those days, water wasn’t used but a liquid called Fluorinert. Water cooling for home computers started to gain recognition during the 1990s. But this type of cooling really got a boost during the mid 2000 with the release of AMD’s hot running athlon processor.
Funny thing is, the water cooling systems used during the ’90s where homemade. Since there wasn’t a hardware producer in the world who created such things. These DIY coolings were made from radiators, aquarium pumps and home made water blocks. Sounds like the perfect cocktail for disaster to me. However, this is how it was done.
But in this day and age, you can just walk in to every respectable hardware store and ask for it. Since most stores will just have it in stock. Even the installment of this type of cooling is something you can easily do yourself. There is nothing to it really, just follow the manual.
And in case you wondered, yes there were (and still are) computers for sale that come with a water cooling system as standard. The first one was the Apple’s Power Mac G5, followed by the XPS series computers of Dell. The most recent example of this is the Alienware computer, also provided by Dell. They offer water cooling as an option.
Of course, just telling you what a water cooling looks like and works doesn’t quite help to identify this component. So here are a few very nice examples of desktop water cooling systems.